BP, Japanese firms keen to buy MRPL petchem output

BP, Japanese firms keen to buy MRPL petchem output


New Delhi: UK’s BP and Japanese trading firms have shown interest in buying paraxylene from a planned project by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), a top company official said on Friday, 16 November.

Swiss firm Kolmar Petrochemicals, Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Corp and Mitsui & Co have also submitted preliminary interest to buy paraxylene, a raw material used to make polyester and plastics.

“These firms want to buy the petrochemical under long-term contract," MRPL managing director R. Rajamani told Reuters. “Pricing of the output and any possibility of these firms buying equity in the plant is yet to be discussed."

MRPL will finalize the buyer in the next six months, he said.

The proposed $1.2 billion complex is to be built by a new venture, ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd, and aims to meet demand for paraxylene.

State refiner MRPL will own 3% of the new firm, while its parent company, explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, will invest bulk of the funds for a 46% stake.

The proposed plant would produce 920,000 tonnes of paraxylene a year from 2010, using naphtha produced at MRPL’s 193,800 barrels a day refinery in southern India.

MRPL’s naphtha exports, around 720,000 tonnes a year, will substantially reduce once the new project comes on stream.

Rajamani said some Indian companies have also submitted initial proposals to buy paraxylene and set up downstream units next to the proposed unit, but declined to give details.

MRPL plans to expand capacity of its refinery to 300,000 bpd by end-2010.